The first Thanksgiving without Dad

It has been a strange, bittersweet Thanksgiving holiday for me. I am spending the week with Mom, but now she’s having some troubling health symptoms that we need to go have checked out tomorrow. So she can’t even enjoy any food today, not that we were going to do a traditional feast.

We decided to skip the turkey and fixings, but the memories of past holiday meals linger. We never had the big family gatherings that many other people enjoy. It was just the three of us, so I think we miss his presence even more because it’s such a huge hole in our little family.

By far, Dad’s favorite holiday was Thanksgiving. He loved all of the traditional dishes served on that day, but I think the turkey was his favorite. He would always ask for seconds on that day! I wish Dad could have enjoyed a real turkey one year, as we always bought those little “turkey roasts in a box” since it was just the three of us.

He wasn’t that big on desserts, which left more pumpkin pie for me, which I was just fine with. 🙂

Holidays and illness unfortunately do mix sometimes. It’s just one of those unavoidable facts of life. Thankfully, I’m not that sentimental about holidays, but I can’t help but think about how it’s been one year now that my life has revolved around illness and loss. These life-altering experiences make you reassess your priorities and what is truly meaningful. It also makes me wonder when I see all of the Facebook posts where people so casually give thanks to family and friends. I’m not saying people are not sincere, but it’s so easy to take all of those special people in your life for granted. I’ve certainly been guilty of it. This past year has taught me a difficult, but important lesson.

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